Being a parent is the greatest gift God has given me. A gift that isn’t easy, but one that should never be taken lightly. The responsibilities we have as parents are endless and sometimes can be overwhelming. When I start to think about the myriad of tasks I must accomplish today when it comes to my children, I become exhausted and just want to call a time-out. I am a chauffeur, cook, homework helper, disciplinarian, encourager, supporter, cheerleader, reminder, teacher, protector, spiritual leader, and much more.
I believe the primary role we play as a parent is spiritual leader. That role includes praying for and with our children, teaching them about God, showing God’s love to them, showing them how to live a Christian life, taking them to church, reading the Bible with them, having family devotion times, and keeping in constant communication with them about the Lord.
In chapter 9 of The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson talks about the responsibility of circling our children in prayer. He discusses how we need to know our children well enough to know what promises of God they need to circle. What this means is that we need to be praying Scripture over them. He gives the example of one of his children who is fearful. So, they circle Philippians 4:4-8 (page 104). He also prays Luke 2:52 over them (which is the scripture of Jesus as a boy and how he grew in wisdom and favor with God and man).
He then goes on to talk about how parents are prophets to their children. He tells the story of some friends who felt a nudging from the Lord to speak prophetic words over their children. They prayed and asked God to reveal words that were “descriptive and prescriptive” (page 104). Then they took these words, had them framed and hung them in their child’s room. And they prayed these words over their children, too. Later in life, their children would tell them about how these words really spoke to them over the years. Mark and his wife went on to do the same thing with their kids, too.
This section really got me thinking. I pray for my children every day. I pray with them every day, but I can honestly say I have never prayed Scripture with them. I guess it’s because I never even thought to do that. The Circle Maker has opened my eyes to a whole new way of praying. What better way to speak God’s Word to them than to pray it with them. I am definitely going to start doing this for both of my children. And I even want to speak prophetic words over them and hang them in their rooms.
Does all this make you feel more overwhelmed in your role as a parent? I hope not because it’s the most exciting role we play. What a gift God has given us. And we need to give our children back to God by circling them in prayer, speaking blessings over them, and trusting God to take care of them. It’s an act of surrendering them to God, and that, my friends, is so hard to do, but it’s what I believe God calls us to do.
Are you ready and willing to begin circling your children in prayer?
- To begin circling your children in prayer, I think it would be helpful to make a list of Scriptures that you could pray over them. What areas in life is your child struggling with? Find Scriptures that will help them in whatever area they need.
- What keeps you from surrendering your children to God?
- Read 1 Samuel 1. How did Hannah surrender Samuel to God? And why?